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Security Of Supply The Key Issue

31 August 2004

Security Of Supply The Key Issue – Positive Energy Campaign Feedback

Secure electricity supply is by far the most important energy issue among the 27,000 people who responded to Contact Energy’s “Positive Energy” campaign questionnaire.

“More than two-thirds (67 per cent) of those who responded to the questionnaire ranked security of supply as the most important factor, ahead of the price of electricity (21 per cent ranked this the first priority), and impact on the environment (12 per cent),” Contact’s corporate communications manager, Pattrick Smellie, said.

The results are taken from a mailout of approximately 490,000 brochures to all Contact Energy customers and shareholders in New Zealand in July, and attracted a response rate of 5.4 per cent – three times higher than the usual rate of return on direct mail campaigns.

Polling by UMR-Insight for Contact in the same month found similar results, with 47 per cent of 750 people polled saying they ranked security of supply ahead of price (29 per cent) and environmental impact (24 per cent).

“Price and environmental impact are important, but reliability is what people want above all from the electricity system,” said Mr Smellie. “That finding is consistent with the Positive Energy campaign message that our future energy choices need to balance the competing priorities of price, environment and security of supply.”

The Positive Energy brochure contained a questionnaire seeking people’s views on a range of energy issues and placed respondents in a prize draw for 10 energy efficiency “home makeovers”, which are being drawn today at Parliament by the Minister of Energy, Pete Hodgson.

“The public response to the brochure has been phenomenal,” said Mr Smellie. “At the usual direct marketing mailout response rate of around 1.8 per cent, we would have expected fewer than 9000 responses for this campaign, compared with the 27,000 received by the time the prize draw closed.”

“The combination of the brochure and questionnaire, the high volume of responses and questions to the campaign website, www.positive-energy.co.nz, and many letters received at our head office indicates that New Zealanders are well aware that we face major choices to secure our energy future.”

At the same time, the questionnaire revealed a strong desire for the development of renewable energy sources to meet future energy needs. New hydro power developments and energy efficiency were consistently expected to be the most important contributors to energy security over the next 10 to 20 years.

ENDS

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